2 Sisters poultry supply firm modernises heating systems
Published:  22 April, 2014

The sister company of food manufacturing group 2 Sisters Food Group – 2Agriculture – has announced a new £20m investment to improve chicken welfare standards.

The investment will go towards a new heating system, which will lower CO2 emissions and reduce running costs at the upgraded farm locations which supply poultry to 2 Sisters. To combat the high costs of the old heating systems, which required burning liquified petroleum gas and regular top-ups of bedding, the new system involves indirect heating from a water-air heat biomass exchanger, powered by a wood pellets source. This ‘dry heat’ will ensure optimum air quality, and control over humidity across the crop cycle, said the firm.

Staffordshire-based Mercian Power, part of Orchard Holdings and a leading renewable energy and power company, has won the contract to provide the biomass heat. Nigel Price, CEO, Orchard Holdings/Mercian Power, said: “We are delighted to have won this contract for such a major supplier of UK poultry. It has taken us over 18 months of hard work to reach this point.

“Effectively, this contract means we are the ‘heat supplier’; as you would buy your electricity from a utility company, you can now buy heat from Mercian Power.”

Lionel Halls, director of agriculture at 2Agriculture, said: “We’re always looking to improve efficiency and innovate where we can, so this deal not only ticks both of these boxes, it also raises standards across our estate.”

He added: “As the key 2 Sisters Food Group poultry supply chain, we’re hoping this contract  will reap benefits right across the wider organisation.”

Installations are expected to start in April 2014 and will run throughout the year, employing at least 100 contractors and operational and maintenance teams for the next 20 years.